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Published: 13 November 2019   •   Media release

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Phil Duncan as Chair of the Basin Community Committee, marking the first time an Aboriginal person has led this independent advisory group.

The Basin Community Committee is an avenue for sharing insights and knowledge from communities across the Murray–Darling with the MDBA and Basin governments.

The Acting Chair of the MDBA, Joanna Hewitt, said Mr Duncan would bring a wealth of experience and understanding to his new role.

"Mr Duncan has worked extensively in the university sector and with state and Commonwealth governments providing high-level policy and strategic advice on water and related environmental matters," Ms Hewitt said.

"A Gomeroi man from Moree in New South Wales, Mr Duncan also has valuable experience working in policy and planning with Aboriginal representative bodies. He was chair of the National Water Commission's First People's Water Engagement Council for many years has been actively involved in native fish management in the Basin.

"I congratulate Mr Duncan and know that the immensely valuable work of the Basin Community Committee will be further enhanced by his leadership.

"It is crucial that the wide range of community perspectives are regularly and effectively part of Basin governments' consideration. Under Mr Duncan's leadership, I am confident the committee will continue to reflect the breadth of experience and insights of people in the Basin and increase community understanding of water management."

Ms Hewitt also extended the Authority's sincere gratitude to the outgoing BCC Chair, Rory Treweeke, for his outstanding contribution to the process of water reform in the Murray–Darling Basin as a member and chair of the committee during the past 10 years.

Mr Duncan has been a member of the Basin Community Committee since 2018 and will formally take up his new role as chair on 1 January 2020.

For more information about the Basin Community Committee, visit


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